The Villa Appetiser: Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa 2018
After last weekend’s disappointing defeat, the mid-week clash with Preston offered a chance to make up for the Fulham game and grab the three points.
In the end it wasn’t to be, and again we didn’t look great without Adomah and Grealish, even with home advantage.
Those two key Villa players will be missing from action again, but as we’ll see below Sheffield Wednesday have big injury concerns of their own.
The last three league meetings between Wednesday and Villa at Hillsborough have ended 1-0 (two wins for Villa, one for them), so a cagey encounter seems likely.
Villa have lost two of the three recent Championship encounters with the Owls, so there’s extra incentive for a reversal of fortunes.
Can we get back to winning ways?
16th in the league table with the 17th best home record.
Last five matches at home: W 1, D 1, L 3
3rd in league table with 8th best away record.
Last five matches away: W 3, L 2
Steve Bruce on Sheffield Wednesday
“It’ll be difficult, obviously.
“They’re under a new leader now and going in a slightly different direction, having come close to promotion a few years on the spin.
“It’s a big club with big history and tradition. But I’m quietly confident that we can go there and get a result.
“It’s getting to that part of the season now – in a few weeks we’ll be down to single figures.
“It’ll soon be all about results and not so much performances, so hopefully we can play well tomorrow on a big stage.
“If you remember, they scored a screamer after just 20 seconds through Adam Reach.
“We never quite recovered from that on the day, so we owe them one.
“It’ll be difficult because they’ve got some good players who’ve taken them close in the last few years.
“In that respect, it’s surprising to see them where they are in the table.
“But they’ve still got some good players in their team. They proved that at Villa Park, so we know what to expect.”
‘Sheffield Wednesday have around 11 -14 first squad team players on the injury list ahead of this weekend’s match, including pretty much the team’s first XI’
5th April 2000 – Sheffield Wednesday 0 Aston Villa 1
A 90th minute strike from Alan Thompson won the game for Villa at Hillsborough.
A crowd of only just over 18,000 were in attendance at this match, the last time we played Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League.
One to Watch
Joey Pelupessy – Joined last month to become Luhukay’s first Sheffield Wednesday signing. The defensive midfielder scored in mid-week in their 2-1 defeat to Millwall.
VILLA HAVE won 17 of their 33 Championship games this season – already one more than they won in the whole of the 2016-17 campaign
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Things change quickly in football, and it would be fair to say that suddenly Villa fans are a little more nervous.
Cardiff keep on grinding out the wins and our recent slip-ups have allowed them to nab 2nd place, with a four point gap. If that gap increases any more then with the games beginning to run out, they may become difficult to catch.
In fairness to Villa, a draw and a loss from games against Fulham and Preston isn’t the end of the world but it does raise a few questions about how we cope against rival promotion challengers.
Sheffield Wednesday have challenged for the play-offs consistently over the past couple of seasons but have struggled this time around, finding themselves in 16th place.
As we’ll explain in the next section, they have had some terrible luck with injuries, but Villa have some fresh concerns of their own.
Davis and Grabban may not end up making the team this weekend, while Tuanzebe is set to be absent.
As well as this, Sheffield Wednesday inflicted a rare home defeat on Villa earlier in the season…
“If you remember, they scored a screamer after just 20 seconds through Adam Reach. We never quite recovered from that on the day, so we owe them one” – bruce on sheffield wednesday
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Villa put in a very strange performance in mid-week with several usually dependable players not at their best, but there are certainly reasons to be cheerful ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
We haven’t suffered two defeats in a league season against the Owls since the 1996/97 campaign, and Wednesday’s home form suggests we have a good chance of victory.
According to the stats, Sheffield Wednesday have around 11-14 first squad team players on the injury list ahead of this weekend’s match, including pretty much the team’s first XI. It almost makes Villa’s injury situation look manageable!
New manager Luhukay hasn’t made quite the impact Owls fans would have hoped after he succeeded Carlos Carvalhal, with the mid-week 2-1 defeat away at Millwall causing more fan frustration (no recognised strikers featured in his starting XI).
Despite a strong start to the season, it’s a worrying time for Sheffield Wednesday. They won 11 points from the first 18 available at home this season, but have won just 10 from 30 since then.
As well as that, they’ve scored just five goals in their last nine Championship games since the end of December.
Despite the last two matches, there’s no need for Villa fans to panic just yet. We’ve won 17 of our 33 Championship games this season – already one more than we won in the whole of the 2016-17 campaign.
Snodgrass is likely to feature after a mid-week illness while Elmohamady looks set to return to the back four, our settled defensive lineup.
We may be without our two most creative players, but we’ve still got a squad capable of making that 2nd place ours.
Hopefully we see an improved performance this weekend.